Saturday, January 7, 2017

Saturday With Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:

Democrats Call for Delay in DeVos Hearing Until She Completes Financial Report


Democrats in the Senate say that Betsy Devos’ hearing should be delayed because she has not completed her financial disclosure, which is required of all Cabinet appointments. Presumably, she has an accountant.
Democrats are pushing to delay Betsy DeVos’ confirmation hearing next Wednesdaybecause the billionaire philanthropist’s finances haven’t yet been cleared by ethics officials, nor has she signed an agreement addressing possible conflicts of interest.
Sen. Patty Murray, the committee’s top Democrat, says that she’s concerned about the “extensive financial entanglements and potential conflicts of interest” of President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Education secretary.
An aide to Murray told POLITICO that “it would certainly be concerning if nominees break from standard practice and don’t submit their ethics paperwork in advance of a hearing.”
Although DeVos submitted her financial disclosures to the Office of Government Ethics on Dec. 12, she is still in discussions to finalize the paperwork and sign an agreement addressing possible conflicts of interest, according to her spokesman, Ed Patru.
The ethics office, in coordination with the Education Department, is responsible for identifying any conflicts of interest that DeVos might have and striking an agreement with her to recuse herself from certain decisions to avoid future conflicts.
Senate HELP Chairman Lamar Alexander indicated he plans to move ahead with the Jan. 11hearing, regardless of whether the paperwork is finalized. Committee rules don’t require the ethics office to clear a Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:


Jared Kushner, Trump Son-in-Law, Working on Big Deal with Chinese Investors
Money, money, money! Watch who gets richer over the next four years. It will be a bacchanalia that make the Robber Barons look like pikers. The New York Times reports that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is pursuing a big deal with Chinese investors. On the night of Nov. 16, a group of executives gathered in a private dining room of the restaurant La Chine at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown
Betsy DeVos Has Funded Senators Who Will Vote on Her Nomination
The Washington Post reports that Betsy DeVos has been very generous with several of the senators who will vote on her nomination. Emma Brown writes: Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary, is not just a prospective Cabinet member seeking confirmation from the U.S. Senate. She is also a billionaire Republican donor whose family’s donations have funded the campaign
Republicans Prepared to Spend Billions for Trump’s Wall on Southern Border
Republicans have decided that they are prepared to spend billions to build the “big, beautiful wall” that Trump promised on the southern border. When it comes to investing in our children and our future, there is no more money. But when Trump promised to build a wall across the southern border, which he said Mexico would pay for, well, the Republicans must follow through. They may bankrupt other
Angie Sullivan: Why Nevada Ranks Last in the Nation
Angie Sullivan, second-grade teachers in Clark County, Nevada, wrote the following missive to the state’s legislators and journalists: Behold! The Nevada Plan! Report: Nevada Schools Place Last in Nation The national grade and the grades for individual states are based on three custom Research Center indices that look at the role of education in promoting an individual’s chance for success over t
Democrats Call for Delay in DeVos Hearing Until She Completes Financial Report
Democrats in the Senate say that Betsy Devos’ hearing should be delayed because she has not completed her financial disclosure, which is required of all Cabinet appointments. Presumably, she has an accountant. Democrats are pushing to delay Betsy DeVos’ confirmation hearing next Wednesdaybecause the billionaire philanthropist’s finances haven’t yet been cleared by ethics officials, nor has she si
Matt Wyatt: Invest in Public Schools, Not Charters
Matt Wyatt is president of the school board in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He knows that the new Republican governor and Republican legislature are eager to launch charter schools, using the same tired promises that have failed everywhere else. No, charters will not close achievement gaps. No, charters will not produce innovation. No, charters are not public schools. Charters will drain resources fr
Ed Eiler: How Vouchers in Indiana Are Attacking the Common Good
Ed Eiler was superintendents of the Lafayette, Indiana, schools. In this article, he explains how corporatist Republicans have tried to turn education into a commodity instead of a common good that belongs to all. He writes: “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” – Elie Wiesel Three recent newsworthy items deserve o
Connecticut: Legislator Proposes Bill to Eliminate Student Privacy Protections
Jonathan Pelto reports that Steven Harding, a Republican legislator, has proposed legislation to roll back Connecticut’s Student Privacy Act. When it comes the Connecticut General Assembly and education policy, one of the most important developments was the passage, last year, of a new Connecticut Student Data Privacy Act that requires school districts to institute reasonable safeguards when sell
STOP: Our Government Wants to Create a National Database about Everyone, Including YOUR Children
The Missouri Education Watchdog blog has collected some frightening news: There is a bipartisan push, funded by the Gates Foundation, to create a national database for every citizen, violating the privacy of every one of us. Until now, this has been illegal. Gates and his allies want to lift the ban. For anyone who has ever filled out a college application, or scholarship or grant application, yo
Christopher Cotton: Hail to the Tweeter-in-Chief
Christopher Cotton, who teaches high school English in Illinois, wrote the following: It is all about the Id! When people register their anger on Twitter, they are truly nasty. When the target is female, a large number of men become truly vile. It’s partly the anonymity. But many of the most despicable tweeters use their real names. It’s not just the rush of mob violence, ganging up on a defensel
John Merrow: Educators Must Stop the Bullying or Face the Consequences
John Merrow reminds his readers that bullying is illegal. It is not enough simply to react or to comfort students after the fact. Only in the era of Trump would this conversation take place. Just because the president does it, doesn’t make it either right or legal. Merrow writes: As schools reopen in the New Year and Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, the reality of dramatic increases in hat


Jan Resseger: Parents and Concerned Citizens In Ohio Are Appalled by DeVos and Resolve to Fight Her Nomination
Jan Resseger is the kind of activist that every community needs. She is devoted to the Common Good and she takes action. Read here about her efforts t o alert and mobilize her local community to stand up against privatization. She begins: 
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